BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian opposition activists say extremists from the Islamic State group have seized key towns and villages near the border with Turkey after deadly clashes with other rebels in the area.
They say fighters of the group captured the towns of Akhtarin and Turkmanbareh in the Aleppo countryside Wednesday, dislodging other rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad. They also took three nearby areas.
The towns are the latest prize for Islamic State militants, who have carved out a self-styled caliphate across vast swaths of eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq.
The towns’ takeover was reported by several activists, jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State group on social media and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.